ANC should be worried by rise of EFF, says Mpofu

The ANC should be worried by the EFF winning 10 percent of the votes in Gauteng in the general election, the EFF's Dali Mpofu said on Thursday (15/05/2014).

"If I was the ANC I would be worried about that," Mpofu said at The New Age breakfast briefing in Johannesburg.

"We are represented in all nine provinces, all the legislatures. To me that is priceless. We have a footprint around the country."

He said the Economic Freedom Fighters was the fastest growing party in the country.

"The ANC has lost 15 seats, that's the reality. The DA [Democratic Alliance] gained 22 seats and the EFF gained 25 seats so we are the fastest growing party in South Africa. That trend is definitely going to continue."

He said the African National Congress needed to learn how to govern differently.

After listening to opinions from a panel of political analysts, Mpofu said the election results should be looked at in a proper perspective.

He said the EFF could not be compared to the Congress of the People, that came third in the 2009 election and was the new party at the time.

"We started off eight months ago. We didn't have any money. And the ANC and the media blemished our leader, not like Cope," he said.

"The media was used against us, all sorts of shenanigans were used - we were denied stadia, our adverts were banned, our posters were removed... so it was clear."

Despite this, the EFF campaigned effectively and took 10 percent of the votes in Gauteng.

Throughout the run-up to the elections, the ANC did not underestimate the EFF, he said.

"The ANC did not underestimate us. They had no illusions. Other people were rubbishing us," said Mpofu.

"They [the ANC] know we know the game. We know how to go to the ground and how to work the ground. The ANC knows that. We are going to show that going forward.

Before Mpofu spoke, political analyst Adam Habib said the controversy around the Nkandla saga had played a role in the election.

"I think Nkandla hurt the ruling party. It seems to me that the ANC paid the cost of it. If I was the ruling party, I'd be very, very worried.

"If you lose these big cities, if you lose the middle class, you cannot claim to be a party of modernity, you cannot claim to be a cosmopolitan party of the 21st century."

He said the results of the elections had sent a strong message to the ruling party.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that President Jacob Zuma and his family unduly benefited from R246 million security upgrades to his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, which included a swimming pool, a cattle kraal, and an amphitheatre.

Two days before the May 7 election, Zuma attempted to justify the upgrades by speaking publicly about the rape of his wife in 1999.

"My homestead was burned twice during violence... These criminals came, raped my wife during the time I was still the MEC," he said at the time.

Zuma was KwaZulu-Natal economic affairs MEC between 1994 and 1999.

He said the perpetrators were arrested, charged, and convicted. - Sapa